Movies and television would have you believe that being a hopeless romantic is something cute and funny. However, anyone who has actually been one knows that it can cause a whole lot of confusion and frustration. When you believe in love, it can be easier to be crushed.

Over the years, I’ve gone through all kinds of challenges in love. I’ve been with people who weren’t right for me and have had trouble just letting my feelings be. However, I have become educated along the way.

Here are five things I have learned from being a hopeless romantic.

People think I expect too much

Being a hopeless romantic causes people to think I need a reality check. They want to give me all kinds of hopeless romantic tips as if to cure me of my condition. In my view, they’re the ones who need the reality check. When people are so cynical about romance, I wonder why they even bother. I’m not asking for some kind of a whirlwind, fairytale romance. I just want to find someone who believes in love the way I do. There needs to be natural compatibility, of course. I want someone who respects love as much as they respect me.

I’ll give more chances than I should

I do my best to believe in the power of love, but this can often backfire. In a relationship, I’m prone to thinking the other person understands love the way I do. After all, they say they care for me. So, why does it feel like I’m doing all the work? Yet, I’m not quick to move on. I will stay with someone even if they’re arguably not a good fit. In times like this, I need advice from my less-romantically sentimental friends. It can be difficult to break away, even when I know I need to. Following a breakup, I do my best to reflect on what happened and move on.

I wish I could settle for less

No one chooses to be like this. I’ve certainly gone through the experience of bemoaning my nature. In the past, I’ve tried to tell myself to relax in relationships. I can barely make through a day of pretending to be chill with romance. No matter how hard I try to deny it, I will fall in love fast and hard. Sometimes, I can’t believe how easily this happens. I protect myself by telling potential partners about my nature. This gives them an easy out if they know they won’t be able to keep up with me.

love quote

When I’m in love, I’m really in love

Love is such a powerful drug. It makes me feel joy all around my body and mind. Some people fall in love but are able to focus on other things. When I’m in love, it’s all I can think about. This can be a lot of fun, because being in love is wonderful. It can also be a source of stress. All those good feeling at once make me worry about something going wrong. Still, I prefer this to being someone who is tired of romance.

I wouldn’t want to be any other way

Through it all, I’m proud of who I am. My perception of love is not skewered. It might be incredibly optimistic, but I see no serious harm in that. I’ve developed enough hopeless romantic tips for myself over the years. Plus, my skin has thickened through experiences. I might still get hurt in my attempts at love, but I have developed wisdom along the way. I can give advice on love to just about anyone who wants it. Many have found my more earnest perspective to be refreshing. The way I see it, love is meant to be, so we might as well make the most of it.

Calling someone a hopeless romantic is more insulting than it seems. No one wants to be labeled hopeless at anything, especially not love. I’ve learned that the key is embracing the romantic side of myself and not letting anyone else tell me how I should or shouldn’t love.